For years, Ford remained cold to the idea of producing its own EV batteries, noting that it was far more cost-effective to obtain them from suppliers, which is why the forthcoming 2023 Ford F-150 Electric, or Lightning as it will officially be called, will be powered by batteries sourced from SK Innovation. However, CEO Jim Farley has quickly changed the automaker’s position in that regard, and the automaker just opened its new Ion Park facility with an eye toward near-future Ford battery cell production. Now, we have an idea of when Ford might actually begin building its own batteries.
“We don’t have the scale today to justify our own dedicated battery plant,” Hau Thai-Tang, Ford’s chief product platform and operations officer, told CNBC. “But by 2025, as we bring on the F-150, the E-Transit, and another battery electric vehicle that we’ve announced, we’ll have enough volume in North America to justify our own plant.”
Ford spokeswoman Jennifer Flake added that the exact timing of Ford battery cell production can and will vary based on how the EV market performs in the coming years, noting that the automaker “could be in a position” to be producing its own EV cells by 2025.
This announcement comes on the heels of a second investment by Ford in solid-state battery manufacturer Solid State, which was announced yesterday. Thai-Tang noted that Ford hopes to begin using the next-gen solid-state batteries in its vehicles by the end of the decade, and said that the automaker could produce both solid-state and lithium-ion batteries side by side in the same facility.
Currently, the Ford Mustang Mach-E is the only all-electric offering on sale by the automaker, but several more models are set to join it in the future, including the 2022 Ford E-Transit, 2023 Ford F-150 Lightning, one and possibly two European-only models riding on Volkswagen’s MEB platform, and both a Ford and Lincoln crossover for North America.